Quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping studies have been integral in identifying and understanding virulence mechanisms in the parasite Toxoplasma gondii. In this study, we interrogated a different phenotype by mapping sinefungin (SNF) resistance in the genetic cross between type 2 ME49-FUDRr and type 10 VAND-SNFr. The genetic map of this cross was generated by wholegenome sequencing of the progeny and subsequent identification of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) inherited from the parents. Based on this high-density genetic map, we were able to pinpoint the sinefungin resistance phenotype to one significant locus on chromosome IX. Within this locus, a single nonsynonymous SNP (nsSNP) resulting in an early stop codon in the TGVAND_290860 gene was identified, occurring only in the sinefungin-resistant progeny. Using CRISPR/CAS9, we were able to confirm that targeted disruption of TGVAND_290860 renders parasites sinefungin resistant. Because disruption of the SNR1 gene confers resistance, we also show that it can be used as a negative selectable marker to insert either a positive drug selection cassette or a heterologous reporter. These data demonstrate the power of combining classical genetic mapping, whole-genome sequencing, and CRISPR-mediated gene disruption for combined forward and reverse genetic strategies in T. gondii.
|Number of pages||9|
|State||Published - 2015|